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Bernard Murphy (1855–1933)

from Catholic Standard

Bernard Murphy, 1880

Bernard Murphy, 1880

photo supplied by Michael Tuite

The death occurred on Thursday evening, October 5th, at St. Joseph’s Presbytery, Hobart, of the Right Revd. Monsignor Bernard Murphy, P.P., V.G., after a short illness. A fortnight previously the late Monsignor fell while inspecting the additions in course of the erection at St. Joseph’s Convent. The fall apparently affected his heart, for though only slightly injured, a sudden seizure supervened. The last sacraments were administered by Fr. J. H. Cullen, assisted by Fr. L. P. Sherry.

The late Monsignor Murphy was born in County Cavan in 1855, and after reading his Divinity course at All Hallows, Dublin, was ordained to the priesthood on June 24th, 1880. He arrived in Tasmania the same year, and after doing relieving duty for some months, he was appointed in charge of the New Norfolk parish and remained there several years. It was during that period that the present beautiful stone church of St. Peter’s was erected. After some years spent on the North-West Coast, he was appointed Parish Priest of Zeehan, where he remained for 29 years. The Monsignor retained many happy memories of his first years on the West Coast, and frequently described most vividly many stirring incidents in the lives of the early pioneers amongst whom he came to be regarded with respect and affection. In 1922 Monsignor Murphy was transferred to Launceston, remaining there until after the death of the late Archbishop Delany, when he was appointed Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Hobart.

On June 24th, 1930, he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Because of his own wish, no public celebration of the event was held but felicitations were forthcoming from his brother priests and from his many friends throughout the State. On the occasion of the jubilee His Grace Archbishop Hayden secured through Cardinal Pacelli (Cardinal Secretary of State) the Papal Blessing for the jubilarian.

During his visit to Rome in 1931, His Grace the Archbishop urged the appointment of the then Archpriest Murphy as a Domestic Prelate to the Pope. His Holiness graciously acceded to the request. The letters of appointment arrived in Hobart early the next year and the title and dignity of Monsignor was publically proclaimed. In June, 1932, the late Monsignor was appointed to the office of Vicar-General of the Archdiocese in which for many years he had been a Diocesan Consulter. The office of Vicar-General had been vacant since the death of the late Monsignor James Murphy, Parish Priest of New Norfolk.

Preceded by the Solemn Office for the Dead, a Requiem Mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday morning last, October 7th. His Grace the Archbishop was celebrant. Fr. G. G. FitzGerald (Richmond) was Deacon, Fr. F. Kent (Sandy Bay) Subdeacon and Fr. J. Wallis (Cathedral) was Master of Ceremonies. The assistant priest was Fr. R. G. Scarfe (Launceston) and the assistants at the Throne Frs. V. Green (Adm., St. Mary’s Cathedral) and V. Allen (New Norfolk). Amongst the clergy present were the Very D. Murphy (Wynyard), Frs. J. H. Cullen (St. Joseph’s), A. Cullen, P.P. (Cygnet), J. J. Barry (Oatlands), P. Adlum, P.P. (New Norfolk), R. Dando M.S.C. (Moonah), W. A. Fitzpatrick (Franklin), L. P. Sherry (St. Joseph’s), P. J. Lynch (Cathedral), H. Reid, D.D., M.S.C. (Moonah), W. Ryan (Launceston) and T. J. Murphy (St. Mary’s, East Coast). Members of the teaching Sisters and Brothers were present in the Cathedral as well as a representative gathering of layfolk. After the Mass the funeral oration was preached by Fr. J. H. Cullen, of St. Joseph’s. This was followed by the absolutions pronounced by the Archbishop, assisted by the sacred ministers and assembled clergy. The funeral cortege then left for Cornelian Bay where the remains of the late Monsignor were interred in the section reserved for the clergy of the Archdiocese. The prayers at the graveside were read by His Grace the Archbishop, the responses being made by the clergy.

Mr. P. J. Keating, Harrington St., carried out the funeral arrangements. R.I.P.

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Citation details

'Murphy, Bernard (1855–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Bernard Murphy, 1880

Bernard Murphy, 1880

photo supplied by Michael Tuite

Life Summary [details]


Island, Cavan, Ireland


5 October, 1933 (aged ~ 78)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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